Kenneth Arrow, Nobel-Winning Economist, Dies At 95

Friday, February 24, 2017
Hoover Institution, Stanford University
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“It is with sadness that I share the passing of Kenneth Arrow, one of the leading lights of economic thought of the 20th Century.  The youngest-ever winner of a Nobel prize for economics, he will be remembered as one of the most consequential economists of the post war era.  Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”


Kenneth Arrow was the Joan Kenney Professor of Economics and Operations Research emeritus at Stanford University.  Arrow joined the Hoover Institution as a Senior Fellow in 1991 and held both Senior Fellow and Senior Fellow (courtesy) appointments during his engagement. 

In 1972, together with Sir John Hicks, Arrow won the Nobel Prize in economics, for his pioneering contributions to general equilibrium theory and welfare theory.  His work in economic theory and research operations focused on areas including social choice theory, risk bearing, medical economics, general equilibrium analysis, inventory theory, and the economics of information and innovation.  He was one of the first economists to note the existence of a learning curve, and he also showed that under certain conditions an economy reaches a general equilibrium.

Arrow served on the economics faculties of the University of Chicago, Harvard and Stanford.  Prior to that, he served as a weather officer in the U.S. Air Corps (1942-46) and a research associate at the Cowles Commission for Research in Economics (1947-49).  In addition to the Nobel Prize, Arrow received the American Economic Association's John Bates Clark Medal and the National Medal of Science.  He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.  He received a BS from City College, an MA and PhD from Columbia University, and holds approximately 20 honorary degrees.